Spaghetti Alfredo with Spinach

Spaghetti Alfredo with Spinach
Serve with baked chicken and broccoli for a tasty meal.
Recipe type: Rice and Pasta
Serves: 4
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  • 24 ounces dry spaghetti pasta
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • 1 large bunch fresh spinach leaves, washed
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add spaghetti pasta and cook for about 10 minutes or until done to preference; drain.
  2. Melt butter in a large pan. Add cream and mix well while heating. Add salt, pepper and garlic salt. Increase heat to medium and add grated cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce has thickened.
  3. Add fresh, cleaned spinach leaves and cook a few minutes until limp.
  4. Add spaghetti to sauce. Be sure it is thoroughly coated. Serve immediately.


Spiced Winter Squash

Spiced Winter Squash
Use butternut, acorn, hubbard, or any of the yellow winter squashes for this dish. It is excellent if you blend a variety of squashes, including pureed cooked pumpkin.
Serves: 4
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  • 4 cups cooked, mashed or pureed winter squash
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. ground mace
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine
  • ½ cup brown sugar, well packed
  • ¼ cup fine bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbs. melted butter or margarine
  1. Mix the squash with the salt, coriander, mace, ginger and flour. turn into a buttered 1-quart shallow casserole. Drizzle with 2 Tbs. melted butter.
  2. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar.
  3. Mix the bread crumbs with the 3 Tbs. melted butter. Sprinkle over the squash. (Recipe may be made ahead to this point and refrigerated.)
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until crumbs are golden and sugar has melted.
Good served with Roast chicken or turkey and wild or brown rice.


Bean and Vegetable Medley

Bean and Vegetable Medley
A variety of beans makes this a nutritious, high in protein and tasty main course. If you wish to change it into a non-vegetarian main dish, add your favorite sausages before final baking.
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
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  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cans (15½ oz. each) red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 pkg. (10 9z..) frozen baby lima beans
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • ⅔ cup chopped parsley
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbs. grated Cheddar cheese
  1. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion, celery and green pepper. Cook slowly for 10 minutes. Do not brown.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, lima beans, barley, parsely, salt, basil and black pepper.
  3. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2 to 3 quart casserole with lid. Add boiling water. Cover.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1½ hours or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with grated cheese before serving.
Good served with marinated, slightly blanched mixed vegetables, hot French bread and butter.


Crisp Crusted Baked Chicken

Crisp Crusted Baked Chicken
This family favorite oven-baked "fried" chicken is quick to prepare or can be made in advance, except for the baking.
Recipe type: Poultry
  • 1 frying chicken, 3 to 3½ lbs. cut up
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs. milk
  • 1 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  1. Wash chicken pieces and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg and milk in bowl.
  3. In another bowl mix potato flakes, garlic salt and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Roll chicken first in egg mix, then in the potato flakes mixture.
  5. Melt butter in shallow baking pan. Roll coated chicken pieces in the butter and place them skin side up in the pan.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until juices from thighs run clear when pierced with a fork.
  8. For a guest meal, you may substitute 6 to 8 chicken breasts for the whole chicken.


Around the World with Seasonings

Herbs, spices and other seasonings are a natural and healthy way to add a lot of flavor to your recipes without adding a lot of extra calories. With a little practice, you can create an endless variety of delicious recipes, such as Mediterranean-inspired favorites bursting with the fresh flavors of lemon, garlic and rosemary and spicy Mexican dishes featuring cilantro, cumin and chili powder.

Of course, your options won’t end there. A wide range of herbs, spices and seasonings are used throughout the world to make food taste better, and in some cases, last longer. Over time, certain flavors have come to represent the culinary identity of the areas where they originated. In large part, the seasonings you choose will define the direction of your own culinary development, as well.

With a little creativity, you can put a fresh spin on some of your favorite tried-and-true recipes by simply swapping out the herbs, spices and seasonings you use. For example, if you add fresh or dried basil or oregano to diced tomatoes, chopped onion and finely minced garlic, you have the makings of a wonderful red Italian pasta sauce. On the other hand, if you replace the basil and oregano with cilantro and lime juice, those same ingredients become the foundation for a fabulous homemade salsa recipe.

To help inspire you, the following chart shows some of the most popular culinary ingredients based on geographic region.

Most Popular Kitchen Seasonings From Around the World

Cuisine: Popular Herbs, Spices & Seasonings

basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, parsley

thyme, French tarragon, rosemary, basil, sage, mint, marjoram

dill, lemon, oregano, fennel

saffron, smoked and regular paprika, rosemary, thyme

mustard, rye, caraway seeds, borage

cilantro, chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano

curry powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric

five-spice powder, star anise, fennel seed, cloves, cinnamon, ginger

Thai basil, cumin, turmeric, lemon grass, cinnamon

Of course, this chart is far from comprehensive, but it can serve as a good reference point for assembling your own collection of must-have herbs, spices and seasonings.

Keep in mind, some herbs, spices and seasonings, such as salt, black pepper and garlic, have an almost universal appeal that isn’t limited by geographic borders. Chances are you will notice those items popping up in recipes from all over the world. As a result, you may want to keep an adequate supply of these basic ingredients in your own pantry or spice rack.

You will also see a lot of crossover among dishes from countries that border one another. For example, French, Italian, Greek and Spanish dishes often feature many of the same herbs, such as basil, rosemary, oregano and thyme. Of course, this isn’t surprising when you consider how these populations interacted with and melded together over the course of history. Depending on your personal tastes and cooking habits, these ingredients may be good to keep on hand, as well.

While assembling your own collection of herbs, spices and seasonings from around the world, remember you can save money by growing your own. Fresh herbs are super easy to grow from seed or from cuttings in your own garden and many can be brought indoors for year-round enjoyment. However, if growing fresh herbs isn’t your thing, many popular fresh and dried varieties are readily available. Dried herbs can be a great alternative to fresh, but take note of expiration dates and suggested storage methods. Dried herbs, spices and seasonings can be quite expensive, so buy smaller amounts at one time if you won’t be using them often.